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Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Best Scottish Dictionaries

The Concise Dictionary of Great Scots. In terms of landmass and population Scotland is a small country but, throughout the centuries, the Scots have regularly punched above their weight when it comes to providing people who have made an impact on the world. The Scottish contribution to the world has encompassed many fields. Historically, people tend to think of the Scots as a nation of engineers and certainly the country has produced a good few of these. Thomas Telford, James Watt and John MacAdam are cases in point. However, the Scots have also demonstrated their talent and expertise in many other areas. It is difficult to say which of the inventions in the world have been of greatest benefit to mankind, but medical advances are certainly among these and Scotland has produced many doctors and surgeons who have furthered medical knowledge. Among these is Alexander Fleming who discovered penicillin and made way for the extensive range of antibiotics that we have today. Before the discovery of penicillin a huge proportion of the population died of infections and diseases which are now curable. But Scotland has not rested on its laurels and its doctors have continued to make a valuable contribution to medical advances. In particular, Ian Donald invented the first practical ultrasound scanner and developed its use in monitoring the development of the foetus in the womb. This has greatly relieved the anxiety levels of mothers-to-be during pregnancy. Scots have not confined their talents to the world of science, though. They have also made a significant contribution to the arts. In the world of literature there are few names so famous in the world as that of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, and the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh has had a major influence on designers throughout the world. There has been something of a literary renaissance in modern Scotland and there is currently an exceptional number of Scottish writers producing successful works. Scots writers today, notably Ian Rankin, seem to be particularly good at crime fiction. Scotland has given the world a whole range of famous people, from explorers such as Mungo Park, to football managers such as Jock Stein, and film actors like Sean Connery who has become something of a Scottish icon. Acting is another area which is enjoying a renaissance in Scotland today. Obviously this is a small book. Its very size imposes restrictions on the number of people included and the information given about each. Obviously not all well-known Scots were admirable. As the title would suggest, for the most part, this book highlights commendable Scots and omits the criminals, such as serial killers. Apologies if your favourite Scot is missing. Still, there is enough here to whet your appetite. Great Scots.

Scots Dictionary. Collins Gem Scots Dictionary is by far the most popular guide to the language of today's Scotland, with nearly eighteen hundred everyday words and phrases from all over Scotland clearly explained in full sentences and with lots of helpful examples of usage. Scots Dictionary (Collins GEM).

Collins Dictionary of Scottish History. As perhaps at no other time in recent memory, Scottish affairs are commanding centre stage and Scottish history in particular is the focus of intense media and popular interest. Alphabetically arranged, "The Collins Dictionary of Scottish History" provides an inclusive guide to major and minor events and personalities from Scotland's story since the tenth century. It contains key articles on major themes and issues, and all entries are fully referenced with guidance to further reading on each major topic or personality. Collins Dictionary of Scottish History.

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